Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I know I have forgiven if...

Originally posted on The Point.

As I read Catherine’s book As We Forgive, it reminded me of the forgiveness issues I have in my life that I daily bring to the foot of the cross. The men and women in her book suffered a great deal; by comparison, my own experiences are nothing. They all have to come to terms with people who did horrific things to them, and I only have to deal with forgiving myself for the poor choices I’ve made in the past.

It made me reflect on the question "How do I know if I have forgiven?" And it revealed once again some of my flawed understanding of forgiveness. Unfortunately, all of us are guilty of such flaws. I wrote down some things to remember about forgiveness:

I know I have forgiven if...

I no longer have feelings of anger or bitterness.
I have asked God to forgive the other person.
I have asked the other person to forgive me.
I have confronted the other person.
I have attempted reconciliation.
I am willing to allow time to heal the wound or get on with life.
I can say “let's just forget about it.”

What's comforting to realize is the fact that I don't have to be flawless to experience God's forgiveness. No one is required to change to be proven worthy of His forgiveness. The only evidence needed is my life submitted to the presence of Christ.


  1. Hi Jason,

    For the sake of discussion, let me share my personal opinion -- personal lang, not saying this is correct. :D

    1. We can still forgive even if we still have feelings of anger or bitterness. Forgiveness is a decision. Sometimes, the feelings will go away after your decision to forgive. But, most of the times, anger or bitterness goes away in time.

    2. I think confrontation i not required in forgiveness. Sometimes, just releasing the forgiveness is better than confrontation.

    3. Same with reconciliation. It's great to attempt it, but not necesarily a requirement to release forgiveness.

    4. I don't believe in "forgive and forget" :D You can forgive but not forget. Sometimes, forgetting will lead to abuse.

    Just my 2 cents. :D

  2. Good thoughts Arnold! Madalas kasi nagiging "all about the emotions" ang forgiveness. Kung OK ang feelings, OK din mag-forgive. Hindi naman ganon si Kristo, na pinatawad lahat ng nagpapako a kanya sa krus ng walang kondisyon.